Name: Sheryl Culley
Grade/subject at what school: First grade, Oak Trace Elementary
Number of years teaching: 21
Background/schooling (college and high school):
Rossville High School, Rossville, Ind.
Bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Purdue University.
Master’s degree in education, Indiana Wesleyan.
Why did you become a teacher? I have vivid memories of every one of my teachers from grade school. They made an impact on my life in their special way. They also had one thing in common: They read wonderful books out loud to my class. I visualized those stories in my mind with great detail. When it came time to choose a path for my life, I knew I wanted to share with young children the same love of books and reading my teachers had given me.
What goals do you have for your students? At the end of first grade, I want my students to have a solid foundation of skills to allow them to continue with their education successfully. Ultimately, I want them to love learning and realize how real life does require continual learning and challenges. I also want my students to know I believe in them and can see each one of them has a special gift to give.
What do you encourage parents to do at home to help their children strengthen particular skills? First, I encourage parents to play an active role in their child’s learning. A child needs to know someone at home cares about him/her and has learning expectations that must be met – before playtime. Then, I will provide as many instructions and resources as possible to allow those parents to be active participants in their child’s learning.
Name your favorite movie. “Out of Africa,” with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
Name your favorite musician or band. I am fascinated with Adele’s voice. However, being an 1980s teenager, REO Speedwagon, Journey, John “Cougar” Mellencamp and (at the time) an up-and-coming local guy named Jimmy Ryser were just a few of my favorites.
What’s something your students might not know about you? I was a 10-year 4-H member. I took sewing all 10 years. Every year, I modeled my sewing projects in the 4-H Fashion Revue. I received Grand Champion in the fashion revue my last three years and got to go to the State Fair. There was nothing like modeling a lined, wool suit on a hot day. And now, I won’t touch a sewing machine!